Cuba’s President of the Councils of State and Ministers, Miguel Diaz-Canel, delivered a statement last night from the Round Table (Mesa Redonda) on national television to announce an energy crisis due to critical shortages of diesel fuel. In his speech, he also described the measures the country must take to resolve the current situation.
Diaz-Canel said that the energy crisis is short-term. It has been created by the U.S. Helms-Burton Law which has placed limitations on some types of fuel and the measures taken against shipping companies that transport fuel to Cuba.
The president assured his viewers that Cuba was not facing a “special period,” referring to the economic crisis of the early 1990s.
“I understand that it is a concern, but we are not in the Special Period. The economic and social development strategy allows us to say that the shortages will lead us to make the programs progress more or less quickly. But we will not be in the Special Period.”
Diaz-Canel said a supply ship was due to arrive on Saturday with a new shipment of diesel fuel.
The fuel shortages were due to increased sanctions imposed by the Trump administration which is trying to pressure Havana to turn away from its ally Venezuela. Shipping companies that transport oil from Venezuela to Cuba have been blocked by the U.S. government in an attempt to financially strangle the Venezuelan government.
Alejandro Gil, Cuba’s Economic Minister said some state-run industries would have to halt production due to the fuel shortages.